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This Christmas season, I am reflecting on how different each of our holidays and traditions are from those of our neighbors.

My sister and her son celebrated early, before my brother-in-law shipped out for his overseas job.  Some exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, and some don’t even have a tree.

Some households will be filled with the smells of turkey, or ham, or in my Dad’s case (I hope), some sort of beef roast.  The man hates chicken.

Despite all this, I think there are a few things we share in our collective holiday genetics.  I was born in 1978, so my childhood Christmases are all from the early 80’s.  There are things that I’ve had at every single Christmas that I can remember.  I bet if you think about it, they were present at yours, too.

These things are:

1. Peach Blossom Candies

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It amazes me that these things get produced.  I’m not sure anybody enjoys them, but whenever I come across a can full, I can’t resist.  Once you’ve eaten one, and eventually get the uber-sticky candy shell picked out of your teeth (and fillings), it’s not long before you grudgingly head back in for another.  It’s like the lesson you just can’t learn.

Beth once actually lost a tooth eating these.  She had her first one since then yesterday.  Man, was she tentative!  The fear of having teeth ripped from your gums really sticks with a person.

I used to eat myself sick on them.  I never set out to do that, I just couldn’t stop once I’d started.

2.  Hard Candies

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If these weren’t still in the canister, safely encased in the cardboard/wax paper cocoon of awesome, they were (for me, at least) sitting on my Nana’s coffee table in a depression-era green glass candy dish.  Always.

These are another of Christmas’ mysteries.  Somehow they welded tightly to each other, and you had to literally pry or chip away until you had the one you thought you wanted.  I couldn’t find them this year, and I didn’t research exactly what that goopy, pasty stuff is that’s inside of them.  Quite frankly, I’m not sure I really care to find out.

For me, these are synonymous with Nana’s house being filled with people and Christmas cheer.

3.  Ribbon Candy

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I suppose I understand why they’re called ribbon candy, but Brightly-colored Edible Razors would be just as apt.  I’m not sure I ever got through an entire “serving” without bleeding.  Still, they’re bright colors always lure me in for more.  It’s a favorite.  I guess I like the challenge.  I much the way I enjoy extreme weather, these represent extreme candy.  You can’t passively experience ribbon candy.  You’ve got to bring your A-game.  You need focus, determination, and good health insurance.

These things are my Christmas staples.

What are yours?  Did any of these items ever make an appearance at your place?  Or your grandmothers?  I bet they did.

Tell me all about it in the comment section below.  Or, add to the list – I’m curious to find out what else we share.




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    • Dawn Pray on December 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm
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    Memere Cecile’s Tourtière Pie

    1 lb ground pork (90%)
    1/2 lb ground beef (85%)
    Medium onion- chopped fine (can keep out if you prefer)
    1/2 cup water
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp thyme
    1/4 tsp sage
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/16 tsp clove (mom’s recipe calls for 1/8 tsp, but we find it too strong, so she reduced it)
    Approx. 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
    2 pie crusts (we use store bought in my house)

    Pre-heat oven to 350°
    Put everything, except breadcrumbs and pie crusts, in large pot
    Stir constantly until almost cooked- will finish cooking in oven
    Sprinkle breadcrumbs in (for texture my mom says)
    Put in pie shell and put other pie shell on top and carve your initial in to let the steam come out
    Bake at 350° for one hour
    Let cool a bit before cutting

    Best Ever! Let me know if you make one!

      • Jan on December 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm
      • Reply

      Same recipe as my Memere, mais she put in some finely ground rosemary (maybe 1/4 tps) also 🙂

    • Dawn Pray on December 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm
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    My memere always made Tourtiere pie (pork pie) so good! Mom and I are making 4 on Thursday! Of course, I bring a whole one home for me, since George hates it! Mom always has m&ms in the same green glass dish, and you can’t help but grab a handful EVERY time you walk by. My aunt always makes 7 layer cookies- my favorite. Those are my favorite food traditions from Christmas.

    1. I tried making a pork pie once when I worked in Lewiston. Definitely a French tradition. My kinda sucked. I’d love your memere’s recipe.

    • Wanda Bourgeois on December 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm
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    yes they were pieces of Christmas. My mother had to get Granite State (candy shop that makes their own candy in Concord NH) ribbon candy it was extremely thin the commercial stuff would not do & they make peanut butter. My daughter has peach blossoms her sitter always had them. The hard candies were part of both grandparents and home the red cherry filled always went first the ones that looked like milifiori glass always amazed me & were my favorites. Thanks for the memories, I have to go buy candy.

    • Beth
    • Beth on December 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm
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    I didn’t actually end up eating it. I couldn’t get the sound of my tooth being ripped from my skull out of my head!

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